KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) maiden flight to Kuwait PR 668 landed on the Kuwait International Airport at 6:55 am on Monday (11:55 am Manila time) and was welcomed by a traditional water gun salute by the Kuwait Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) followed by a brief welcome ceremony at the Gate 23 to greet the passengers from the Philippines as well as the Philippine Airlines Executives led by Vice-President — Sales Ryan T Uy and Senior Assistant Vice President International Passenger Sales Genaro Velasquez. The Kuwait Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) represented by Superintendent of Air Transport for International Relations Abdullah Al-Rajhi welcomed PAL’s inaugural flight to Kuwait. “I would like to congratulate the Philippine Airlines to Kuwait International Airport to be successful in the next step, Inshaallah,” he stated.
Uy thanked the Kuwait DGCA and all the guests for the warm welcome. “We are honoured by the special attention accorded us. Indeed, your effusive welcome matches the warmth of your bright and sunny weather here in Kuwait. I also bring you warm greetings from Manila. The inaugural flight that just landed is the first of many PAL flights that will bind Kuwait City and Manila close together. I’m very happy to let all know that PAL is now proudly serving Kuwait. We are calling to all our Filipino compatriots. It’s now time to fly PAL,” he stated.
There are around 200,000 Overseas Filipino Workers in Kuwait. Uy cited that it is part of PAL’s mandate as the national flag carrier to serve Filipinos wherever in the world they may be and PAL being an international airline will serve Kuwaitis and other nationalities as well. “I’m deeply honoured to be the one flying the inaugural flight going to Kuwait,” quipped Capt. Emil Mangubat who was welcomed at the airport along with his crew.
Present also during the inaugural ceremony were PAL Kuwait Area Manager Orty Liscano, PAL Executives Marvin Aranzanso and Czyreen May Castillo as well as Philippine Embassy Administrative Officer Girlie Caba, Cultural Attache Alethea Rana Nabo, Al Sawan Group of Companies General Manager Zahed Al-Sawan , Al Sawan VP for Sales Nizar Hindia, Sales Manager Hussam Hassan and other distinguished guests. “We have been working on this for a long time and hopefully it’s going to be very fruitful for both sides. Today is the first flight hopefully, we can try to improve the passengers in a bigger scale in the coming or near future. This is the first time to meet the management here in Kuwait and hopefully the friendship will become stronger. We will see how we can improve more than four flights a week. We will try to do it a daily flight direct to Manila instead of via Dubai,” stated Al-Sawan. Al Sawan Travel is PAL’s GSA in Kuwait.
PAL’s flight to Kuwait, PR 668 will depart Manila at 10 pm every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive in Kuwait the following day at 6:55 am local time. The return flight, PR 669 meanwhile, will leave Kuwait at 2:55 pm local time every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and land in Manila at 8:15 am the following day. As PAL started operating flights to Kuwait today, on the other hand, services to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia will be offered beginning Tuesday. The commencement of flights to Kuwait and Jeddah, brings the flag carrier’s total number of flights to the Middle East to seven destinations, including Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dammam, Dubai and Riyadh.
By Michelle Fe Santiago Arab Times Staff